Kids' Science Challenge: Winners - Candy Doctors: The Pulse of the Planet daily radio program offers free legal online mp3 downloads, exploring the world of sound in nature, culture and science, with audio adventures, world music, extraordinary sound portraits, science diaries, and nature ring-tones; an amazing sonic experience.

Airdate: Jun 02, 2009
Scientist: Ian Williams, Anna Xystros, Devin Hollinger

Kids' Science Challenge: Winners - Candy Doctors

Kids' Science Challenge: Winners - Candy Doctors
Open up and say, aah. Don't worry, your doctor's visit will be flavorful.


music; ambience coughing

JM: You got a soar throat? Well, open up and say aah.’ And if the idea of a tongue depressor depresses you, well here’s a sweet new idea that can make a trip to the doctor’s office a bit more palatable. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Virginia Beach 5th grader Ian Williams, with teammates Anna Xystros and Devin Hollinger, came up with a solution to one of life’s less pleasant encounters. Anna explains.

AX: “A few weeks before, one of my team members got strep throat, and they had to go in for two little strep tests, and they remembered how they kept gagging over a normal tongue depressor, and we decided to make one that’s candy, so that it doesn’t make you really gag and stuff, and after you’re done with the test, you can eat it.”

JM: The self-proclaimed Candy Doctors submitted their idea for an edible tongue depressor to the Kids’ Science Challenge, our nationwide competition for 3rd to 6th graders. Well, it took top prize in the flavor category, and the kids got right to work developing their first round of prototypes. Devin helped put them together.

DH: “We covered popsicle sticks in like, paint of the color of the tongue depressor.”
JM: “What flavor would you like it to be?”
DH: “So far we’ve only made vanilla, but” [laughs]
JM: “Well, it sounds like you guys are already in the planning stages. All of you are going to get a chance to travel to New Jersey, meet Joan Harvey in her lab, and make this idea that you guys are talking about, you’re going to make it happen!”
DH: “Oh my gosh! Thank you!”

JM: The Candy Doctors have since met with flavorist Joan Harvey, at Cadbury’s flavor lab, to create their candy tongue depressor prototypes. To see how it turned out, visit

Pulse of the Planet’s Kids’ Science Challenge is made possible by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.